Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike: Wilkinson escapes "certain death"

The residents of Texas beaches near the eye of the hurricane Ike were informed about their "certain death" if they wouldn't evacuate.

Well, about 3 or 4 people died in the U.S. as a result of Ike - which was a tropical storm when this article was first posted and a tropical depression when you read it now - and none of them was in Galveston. In another group of the casualties, a boy tragically died because his father was afraid of Ike and decided to cut a tree and except for two Ike evacuees. Once again, the number of victims of the alarm may exceed the number of victims of the hurricane, suggesting another overreaction.

Tens of thousands of Galveston residents stayed and survived, despite the deadly warnings and despite the memories of a hurricane in 1900 that killed 8,000 people at the same place (and add 400 casualties of a similar hurricane in 1915: they don't really look like man-made events; the majority of the costliest hurricanes since 1900 occurred before 1950).

But Ray Wilkinson (67) of Surfside Beach, TX (check the Google Maps: it's actually a very long island) has literally humiliated the warnings.

He spent the stormy night between Friday and Saturday on the porch of his apartment, smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, watching the flying debris, and celebrating the power of the elements, including the 100 mph wind and a 20-feet surge. ;-) Newspapers in
Brazoria County, the place where Texas began
describe the story and claim that Wilkinson is stupid. Well, they may be right but more importantly, he is also the kind of guys after whom things like WMAP (The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) are called. If you're not afraid of microwaves, razor blades, swords, and winds, you can sometimes invent or discover something new. At least another bottle of beer. ;-)

Needless to say, next time, Wilkinson will stay home again.

1 comment:

  1. Mr.Wilkinson is indeed a lucky man,to
    have escaped serious bodily harm or
    death by a misadventure named Ike!
    These Gulf Coast storms,are known for
    being particularly brutal and deadly.
    The warnings that are issued should always,be heeded and for the most part are heeded,except for people like Mr.Wilkinson.Having won at a
    meteorological equivalent of, Russian
    Roulette however,does not qualify him
    (in my opinoin) as a hero,or even a
    role model!The reason that this storm killed so few,is because of
    the advance warning system works!
    I believe the death toll could have
    been much higher,had more people chosen the same route as Mr.Wilkinson,and I'm heartened by
    the fact,that most people chose life,by heeding the hurricane warnings.It is a wise General indeed,who pulls his troops back,
    from an overwhelming enemy,when the
    odds are stacked against them.The residents of the Gulf Coast,and their gonvernments should be commended for pulling back from a battle that was certain to inflict
    massive casualties.They live to fight the enemy another day!As for
    Mr.Wilkinson,as brave a man as he may be,you have to wonder what his
    odds will be in the next great storm that roars in,from the Gulf?
    Those odds,I'm betting are stacked
    against him the next time.Maybe he'll come to dislike those odds as
    well,and do the right thing,and go!